Two mangy dogs down by the Claverack Creek
Insist that, on early spring mornings,
County Road 25 belongs to canines,
Not cars, silence or jogging poets,
So each morning they come at me
In all their dirty, furry little anger,
Balancing their pace with their courage,
Until I turn and jump toward them, arms out,
The sudden star of an Off-Broadway musical,
A move any crackpot poet knew was coming.
I’m no man of headaches and this one took three days
To take off, lifting like a flock of geese,
Clucks and double clucks,
A retired steam locomotive on the Fourth of July,
The coughing and whispering of pressurized air.
My furry henchmen, having exchanged glances,
Steal away, bewildered, as many an audience.
Then, conquering the moment, I stand by the river
Where the other morning I stepped in
And swam against the current, moving and not moving.
Writing is what happens while you’re sleeping
And at daybreak, it all comes floating by —
Familiar voices, a missing paragraph, this poem.
All the poet has to do is the living, the loving,
The exhilarating loneliness of typing.